Through the last few decades, the role of prophets and prophecy in the body of Christ has grown both in acceptance and significance. These days it's not unusual to hear someone give a prophetic word in a church, at a conference or during some other kind of Christian gathering.
But God's plan for prophetic ministry goes far beyond the four walls of the church. God wants us to take the prophetic to the streets!
What do I mean by "taking the prophetic to the streets"? I mean living up to our job description as God's anointed people in the world.
Isaiah 61:1-3 tells us: "The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for all who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair" (NIV).
Perhaps you're thinking, "But I'm not a prophetic-type person. That's not my gift." Well, have you ever stepped into a house and felt an evil presence? Have you ever found yourself in a certain situation and sensed the presence of God?
Being prophetic isn't strange or unnatural. It's naturally supernatural! All it takes is childlike faith and a willingness to trust the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Each of us is called to be a revelation of Jesus Christ to the world. That's prophetic! We're called to be willing vessels in the hands of God—not just in the church, but also in our homes, our communities, our workplaces and beyond.
Living Tracts Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Christians often reached unbelievers by standing on street corners, passing out evangelism tracts. God anointed little booklets, such as "The Four Spiritual Laws," and used them for His glory, drawing thousands of people to Himself.
Today, however, God doesn't want us simply to pass out printed tracts. He wants us to be living tracts.
He says, "I want to use your mouth, your hands and your feet to be carriers of My anointing. I want you to be like Olympic runners carrying My fire, setting neighborhoods, cities and nations ablaze for My glory."
Unfortunately, too many of us have not responded to this call. We've abdicated our prophetic "street" position. We've sent missionaries. We've paid pastors. We've supported evangelists. We've handed out tracts.
But the Lord says, "I want you! I want you to be My hands, My feet, My eyes and My mouth."
God isn't calling us to religious, formula-driven evangelism; He's calling us to prophetic evangelism. He wants us to tell hurting people the life-changing words that come directly from His heart.
So often, when we meet people whose lives are a mess, we assume we should pray for them. "Bless them, Lord," we whisper.
Praying a blessing under our breath is good. But prophetic evangelism requires more.
First of all, it requires that we take off our blinders. God doesn't want us only to hang around with other believers. He wants us to see the world that He sees the way that He sees it.
He wants us to see the pain of those prodigals and unbelievers who are in the midst of divorce, adultery, homosexuality and other sinful traps. Sometimes, as believers, we act as if we'll catch leprosy if we associate with such people. That's religious!
Instead, the Lord wants us to have such a love and passion for the people around us that we see someone's pain and ask, "God, what do You have for this living soul? What is Your divine strategy? Lord, give me some information. Give me some words. I'm available, Lord. I'm listening."
Remember, the Lord is the hound of heaven. He has more invested in people's souls than we do. He has a passion for the prodigals and the lost.
When we ask God to show us His desire and His plan for someone, He is more than willing to open the windows of heaven. To move from the natural to the supernatural, all we have to do is jump through.
What happens when we do? Suddenly we have a word in season that pierces an individual's heart. Scales fall off that person's eyes, and he or she is able to see that there really is a living, loving God.
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